Vaginal Dryness

What is Vaginal Dryness?

Normally, the vaginal walls stay lubricated with a thin layer of clear fluid. Estrogen helps maintain this fluid to keep the lining of the vagina healthy. A drop in estrogen levels can reduce the levels of moisture available. Vaginal dryness is a symptom that many women experience at some point in their lives. It can be caused by certain medications, a decrease in hormone levels, menopause, or breastfeeding.

Common symptoms of vaginal dryness include:

  • Pain with sitting or standing
  • Discomfort exercising
  • Uncomfortable urination
  • Painful intercourse

Vaginal Dryness Treatment Options

In order to diagnose vaginal dryness, a pelvic exam may be performed to check for thinning tissue or redness in the vagina. There are a number of different treatment options to address this condition, including:

Topical Estrogen Therapy

The most common vaginal dryness treatment is topical estrogen therapy. This replaces some of the hormones that the body no longer creates in order to relieve vaginal symptoms.

There are three main types of vaginal estrogen, including:


A soft, flexible ring is inserted into the vagina where it releases an ongoing stream of estrogen. The ring is replaced every three months.


A disposable applicator is used to place a tablet into the vagina once a day for the first two weeks. Then it is used twice a week until it is no longer needed.


An applicator is used to insert the cream into the vagina. The cream is usually applied daily for 1-2 weeks, and then 1-3 times a week as directed by the provider.

Non-hormonal Topical Treatments

There are also non-hormonal topical treatment options that some individuals may find beneficial. Vaginal moisturizers such as glycerin-mineral oil-polycarbophil can be purchased at a drug store. Coconut oil is another popular over-the-counter topical treatment available in most pharmacies. Hyaluronic acid suppositories can be ordered online and used two to three times per week to alleviate dryness. 


For women who are looking for an alternative to topical treatments, several exciting options are available. The MonaLisa Touch® is an ablative laser therapy that is performed in the office to restore the health of the vaginal lining. It takes less than five minutes, is painless, and requires just three treatments separated by six weeks.

The ThermiVa® uses radiofrequency to restore vaginal health. This is another office-based treatment that takes approximately 20 minutes to perform. Most women will require one to three treatments for optimal results. In this treatment, heat directed at the vaginal walls and labia stimulates collagen production, blood supply and nerve proliferation resulting in improved elasticity, tightening of the vagina, improved moisture, and enhanced sensitivity.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) can be used alone or in conjunction with the MonaLisa Touch®, The O-Shot® or ThermiVa® therapies to further enhance vaginal health. With the PRP procedure, a tube of blood is collected and processed. The plasma is then delivered to the vagina alone, or the vagina, labia and clitoris to enhance tissue regrowth, restore moisture, enhance orgasm and vaginal sensitivity. PRP has also been shown to improve urinary leakage in some women. 

Other Treatments

There are also other treatment options that some individuals may find beneficial. Vaginal moisturizers such as glycerin-mineral oil-polycarbophil can be purchased at a drug store. An oral drug called ospemifene can also be used to make vaginal tissue thicker, resulting in less discomfort during sex.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix vaginal dryness?

Although vaginal dryness can be temporarily relieved with lubricants, professional treatment is typically needed to achieve long-term results. Hormone therapy and non-surgical energy devices can produce meaningful results with vaginal dryness.

Can I use moisturizer for vaginal dryness?

Certain moisturizers exist specifically to increase hydration in the vagina – our team can recommend the most worthwhile products. Do not use moisturizers that are not specifically made for vaginal use.

Is vaginal dryness a hormonal issue?

Most often, vaginal dryness is the result of low estrogen levels and is thus a common symptom experienced by menopausal women. However, it can also be caused by certain medications, breastfeeding, and more.

When should I see a doctor for vaginal dryness?

Vaginal dryness can interfere with daily activities such as sitting, urinating, or exercising – as well as sexual intercourse. Any of these reasons are valid reasons for seeing an intimate health provider for vaginal dryness.

What are the treatment options for vaginal dryness?

Vaginal dryness can often be treated with hormone therapy where applicable. This may be combined with energy devices that can stimulate collagen production in the lining of the vagina, increasing moisture production and improving the health of the tissue.

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